Kimchi is a staple of Korean cultured foods, full of fermented goodness. The concept of feeding your microbiome is becoming more mainstream these days -supermarkets are selling all manner of things - but these foods are super easy to make at home. it is a bit smelly when you first make it and leave it out to ferment for a few days but it softens over time and becomes strangely addictive - I hope you enjoy!
1kg of veg such as cabbage, carrot, onion, radish
1 TBSP Salt
For the paste, blend together:
2-3 cloves garlic
A good chunk of ginger root
1 TBSP chilli – fresh, paste, cayenne
Kelp or fish sauce (optional)
A little water to make it blendable
Get stuck in:
There's no need to wash the veg as the bacteria helps the fermentation process. Finely slice the veg - the finer the better as it will help the fermentation process along. Add the salt then massage until the mix is really wet (it will take longer than you think so don’t give up).
Once the salt has done its job of releasing the water content of the veg, add the pre-blended paste and massage it in before packing it tightly into a kilner jar, squashing it down until liquid covers the mix. I often put a cabbage leaf over the mixture then place a carrot on top to weight it down so all the veg is submerged. Pack to the top of the jar and leave somewhere warmish for 5 days but you can start to see if it’s ready from 3 days onwards. You’ll know because the saltiness will have disappeared.
Once ready, transfer to the fridge and enjoy at every possible opportunity. The flavours soften and meld over time and it will last for months but it’s so good mine never lasts that long.
For more fermented goodness, check out The Cultured Club by Dearbhla Reynolds.